Apr
 26
 2018



Christopher

Happy Thursday,

In today's edition of The Spin you'll learn why long lines don't make cash registers ring and see how Ikea is (smartly) introducing its line with "it" designer Virgil Abloh. There's also news from Nike, Supreme and Amazon and interesting evidence that – to paraphrase Mark Twain – the rumors about the death of print magazines may in fact be greatly exaggerated. Enjoy the read! Best, Christopher



retail

Line loss. According to a just released study by payment platform Ayden, retailers in the US lost $37.7 billion in potential sales in the last year due to long checkout lines which cause impatient customers to exit the store and not return to complete the purchase – or buy it elsewhere. Thus the fact that credit card companies are taking steps to shorten checkout times should be very welcome news in retail circles.


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Judgment days. Walmart's legal team has been busier than a cashier on Black Friday this week. On Tuesday a federal court overturned a $32.5 million fine against the retail giant for selling barbecues under the trademarked name "Backyard" but said more deliberation is needed. In addition Idaho's Supreme Court ruled that a slip-and-fall case against Walmart must be reviewed again. Finally, a Wisconsin court heard the case involving an in-store shooting death of a mentally ill customer in a Walmart store two years ago.





brands

Big reveal. Well aware that its forthcoming furniture and homeware collaboration with Off-White's (and now Louis Vuitton's) Virgil Abloh is already being buzzed about, Ikea will fuel the hype further by revealing the collection via a livestream with Abloh this Monday. The online broadcast promises to share Abloh's creative process and several prototypes from the collection, which is geared specifically to Millennial customers.



Cabbeen car. Chinese menswear brand Cabbeen teamed with famous English carmaker McLaren to create a limited edition of the latter's 570GT MSO model that was just unveiled at the Auto China 2018 show in Beijing. Limited to a five-car production run, the slick black autos were designed by clothing designer Ziming Yang aka Mr. Cabbeen and feature gold wheels and dragon motifs on the doors and the embroidered interior.





people

Shoe shakeup. Julien Cahn, who left his role as chief marketing officer of the Nike-owned brand Converse in February prior to misconduct allegations about Nike executives emerging and causing a reshuffle there, did so to take a new job at rival brand Supreme. Sophie Bambuck, the former senior brand manager for Nike Sportswear in EMEA, has replaced Cahn at Nike.





tech

Good Alexa... Amazon introduced a new child-friendly version of its Alexa voice assistant yesterday that is meant to give parents peace of mind. The new model, named Amazon FreeTime on Alexa, allows adults to set bedtimes and filter inappropriate music, among other features. This Alexa also encourages children to be polite and compliments and thanks them when they preface their requests with the word "please."



...and Bad Alexa. Cybersecurity company Checkmarx was able to create an app for Alexa that would allow the device to secretly record and transcribe conversations. Checkmarx immediately informed Amazon about Echo speaker's potential role as an eavesdropper and Amazon says the scary glitch has now been fixed.





markets

Brooklyn's better. While requested retail rents have dropped in nine out of ten areas of Manhattan of late, the same cannot be said about the NYC borough of Brooklyn. Asking rental rates recently rose on eight of Brooklyn's 15 busiest retail streets this winter, driven mostly by new development.





last

Print it! Perhaps the print magazine is not going gently into that good night after all. A so-called "Print Renaissance" is being spearhead by a trio of new hold-in-your-hand independent publications – Tonal, CRWN and Hannah – that address women of color. Likewise, Rouge Fashion Book, another printed indie, is making similar waves in, of all places, digitally obsessed China.







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